Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Nature Merit Badge






  1. Name three ways in which plants are important to animals. Name a plant that is important to animals that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.
  2. Name three ways in which animals are important to plants. Name an animal that is protected in your state or region, and explain why it is at risk.
  3. Explain the term "food chain." Give an example of a four-step land food chain and a four-step water food chain.
  4. Do all the requirements in FIVE of the following fields:
        A. BIRDS
            In the field, identify eight species of birds.
            2. Make and set out a birdhouse OR a feeding station OR a birdbath. List what birds used it during a
                  period of one month.
        B. MAMMALS
            1. In the field, identify three species of wild animals.
            2. Make plaster casts of the tracks of a wild animal.
            1. Show that you can recognize the poisonous snakes in your area.
            2. In the field, identify three species of reptiles or amphibians.
            3. Recognize one species of toad or frog by voice;
                OR identify one reptile or amphibian by eggs, den, burrow or other signs.
        D. INSECTS and SPIDERS
            1. Collect, mount, and label 10 species of insects or spiders.
            2. Hatch an insect from the pupa or cocoon;
                OR hatch adults from nymphs;
                OR keep larvae until they form pupae or cocoons;
                OR keep a colony of ants or bees through one season.
        E. FISH
            1. Catch and identify two species of fish.
            2. Collect four kinds of animal food eaten by fish in the wild.
            1. Identify five species of mollusks and crustaceans.
            2. Collect, mount, and label six shells.
        G. PLANTS
            1. In the field, identify 15 species of wild plants.
            2. Collect and label seeds of six plants;
                OR the leaves of 12 plants.
            1. Collect and identify soils found in different layers of a soil profile.
            2. Collect and identify five different types of rocks from your area.


In most cases all specimens should be returned to the wild at the location of original capture after the requirements have been met. Check with your merit badge counselor for those instances where the return of these specimens would not be appropriate.

Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are or may be protected by federal law. The same ones and/or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species.

Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Check with the wildlife and fish and game official in your state regarding species regulations before you begin to collect.

Nature Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.